- Volume 15 Issue 7
Saltwort (Salicornia herbacea L.), a kind of halophytes in Japan, is under investigation as a feed source for livestock as well as potential oilseed crop in salt marshes and salt fields. The present experiment was undertaken to analyze the nutritive value of saltwort as feed for ruminants. To determine the apparent digestibility and nutritive value of saltwort, five Japanese native goats were fed the diets consisting of alfalfa hay cubes with 15 or 20% (n=3 and n=2, respectively) inclusion levels of saltwort in the total diet on a DM basis. All the animals were randomly offered alfalfa hay cubes as a base diet or a mixed diet of alfalfa hay cubes and saltwort at maintenance level, thereafter, alternative feed (a base or mixed diet) was offered to the experimental animals (the incomplete crossover design). Analysis of the chemical composition of saltwort showed that the plant contained high levels of total ash (40.2% DM), sodium (12.7% DM) and chlorine (19.7% DM), and relatively high levels of CP (11.7% DM) and NDF (40.4% DM). Contents of TDN and digestible CP (DCP), DE and ME of saltwort were 33.5% DM, 8.4% DM, 7.4MJ/DM kg and 5.0MJ/DM kg, respectively. These results indicate that saltwort is rich in DCP and minerals (mainly sodium chloride), but poor in energy, suggesting that saltwort could be used as a mineral or CP supplement for ruminants raised around salinized areas in which high quality feed may not be available.
Saltwort;Salicornia;Nutrient Value;Sodium Chloride;Ruminants
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